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Chemistry - Oncology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

A Novel Thin NIPAM Gel Cassette Dosimeter for Photon-Beam Radiotherapy
Published: Monday, March 12, 2012
Author: Ling-Ling Hsieh et al.

by Ling-Ling Hsieh, Kai-Yuan Cheng, Bor-Tsung Hsieh

The response of thin polymer gel cassettes (called NIPAM gels) to ionizing radiation was investigated in this study. The NIPAM gels were prepared from gelatin, N-isopropyl acrylamide, tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphoniumchloride, and N,N'-methylene-bis-acrylamide. Gel cassettes were irradiated in a phantom using a linear accelerator, and the polymerization morphology of irradiated NIPAM gel was characterized using scanning electron microscopy. The dose-response sensitivity of the NIPAM gels was evaluated using the differences in optical densities. The optical densities were obtained using a computer-controlled CCD camera that was connected to a planar illumination source for acquisition of optical transmission images. The central axis depth dose profiles of the phantom were extracted, and a comparison with ionization chamber measurements demonstrated similarities in profiles. The sensitivity, linearity of the response, accuracy, and reproducibility of the polymer gel cassettes were acceptable. However, the profiles of the half-blocked field irradiation showed no significant dispersion in the visible region. This study also extensively investigated the spatial stability of the NIPAM gel. The results showed that the gel cassette response remains stable for up to three months after irradiation.